A slightly belated Happy New Year! As New Year is not a Saudi celebration – a lunar calendar is used here so new year falls on a different day – and we had work (orientation) the next day, my friends and I decided we would have a quiet night in with pizza and some Saudi Cocktail (Saudi Cocktail tastes a little like Pimms with no alcohol). The pizzas from our The Olive Garden are lovely – people who visit the blog regularly will have noticed a food/eating theme developing! I have been assured this is completely normal whilst adjusting to a new routine and the early starts!
As all three of us were extremely tired from our induction we thoroughly enjoyed the night in chatting and catching up with friends and family back home – it is very good of our company to provide WiFi at home.
On New Year’s Day we had our last day of induction which went very well and seemed to fly in. In the evening we three, plus another friend, Dan, decided we would go to the mall and eat at Applebees (suggested by Cheryl, excellent choice!). The Mall of Dhahran is huge – we walked around for almost an hour and I honestly don’t think we saw half the shops. Can’t wait to go back – particularly after pay day!! Although we are planning reconnaissance trips to other malls to see what is available.
Deciding our feet had had enough walking for one day (induction also involves a fair amount of walking) we headed to the restaurant. When we arrived it was prayer time and, as we waited to be allowed in, , we got chatting to a lovely Saudi man who explained he was having dinner with his family and spoke to us about his travels. Once back inside he bought all four of us a drink. It was very kind of him to do so and we were all touched by the gesture, kindness and warm welcome.
Once again as in the food and service in the restaurant were excellent. Portion sizes are huge and eating out is definitely good value for money, even if it isn’t good value for your waistline!!
Yesterday was our first day of work, which went well. I was shown round my department by two friendly and helpful Saudi girls. Everyone I met was very welcoming and kind and I feel that I will be happy there. It also helps that the area where I work is beautiful – stone and glass buildings, fountains and Palm trees – I am extremely lucky.
Today is Friday, first day of the weekend, which means a long lie and then off to brunch (see, food again…) with the girls.
Have a fantastic weekend everyone.